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Da Vinci Science Center to close Cedar Crest location after moving downtown

Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion
Donna S. Fisher
For LehighValleyNews.com
Representatives of the Da Vinci Science Center lead members of the Allentown School District Partnership on a tour of the new Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion on Tuesday, February 20, 2024. The new downtown center is at 815 W. Hamilton Street in Allentown.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — The Da Vinci Science Center’s longtime home at Cedar Crest College is set to become a private elementary school once the center opens its new state-of-the-art facility in downtown Allentown.

Allentown-based global technology services company CAI will run CAI Learning Academy out of the old facility, the science center announced Tuesday. The academy is now located at 1033 Washington St.

Da Vinci Science Center’s Cedar Crest facility will be open through April 1, officials said.

Construction crews are making quick progress on the $80 million, 67,000-square-foot facility in the 800 block of Hamilton Street ahead of its planned opening in May.

Science center officials last week welcomed Allentown School District — and LehighValleyNews.com — on a rare tour of the new building, which will dwarf the current facility.

Da Vinci Science Center’s Cedar Crest facility will be open through April 1, with the downtown facility to open in May.
Da Vinci Science Center officials

The new facility will have about three times as much space and will offer exhibits and programs for people of all ages, Chief Executive Officer Lin Erickson said.

Officials expect those offerings to make the science center a major attraction, with about 400,000 visitors expected to come each year.

Planned features include a science-themed theater, space for several traveling exhibits and a Lehigh River Watershed exhibit that will house four North American otters.

The center also will have “an interactive and immersive space,” known as Curiosity Hall, that will explore Leonardo Da Vinci’s legacy as an inventor, scientist and artist, officials said on the tour.

A gallery known as "Science in the Making” will explore science and manufacturing in the Lehigh Valley.

And the building’s bottom floor is set to become a STREAM Academy for Allentown students and a secondary campus for Central Elementary School.